Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

Yeah, I know this isn’t exactly the season for pumpkin recipes. But perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find a can of pumpkin stashed way in the back of your cupboard, left over from autumn’s pumpkin pie frenzy. Such was my fortunate discovery.

This was my first savory pumpkin dish, and it turned out beautifully. I used long-grain brown rice instead of arborio, and it was just fine.

I recommend serving it with a white bean and spinach salad. The amino acids in the rice and in the beans serendipitously combine to form a biological complete, “high quality” protein.) This is called mutual supplementation, and makes it perfectly easy for any animal-free diet to provide adequate high quality proteins.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water with or without a vegetarian bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (or perhaps pureed butternut squash)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tbs water or skim milk
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Directions

Chop the onion.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan (I used a wok). Cook the onion until soft, and then add the garlic and uncooked rice.

Let it sit for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is browned. Add the broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 10-20 minutes or so, until the rice starts looking cooked. Add the pumpkin and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts. Mix the yogurt with the water or milk, until it forms a liquid cream. Add the yogurt and stir. Adjust seasonings as you like, and garnish with fresh basil.

For the salad, I cooked some white beans. Time-saving tip: If you don’t have time for the 4-6 hour soak, you can just bring the dry beans to a boil, turn off the heat, and let it sit for about 45 min before cooking.

I love roasted red peppers with white bean salads, so I chopped up a red bell pepper and roasted it at 350 F until soft and blackened around the edges.

I also recommend topping this salad with artichoke hearts if you have them. Mmm, love those colorful phytochemicals! Enjoy!

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